Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Replay 6.11.2008: A Very Moving Speech By Robert Caro

Note: Tonight for some reason I was watching Charlie Rose on PBS (I don't have cable and my netflix ran out) and he had Chris Matthews and David Brooks on talking about what the Democrats did wrong. Chris made the comment as I've mentioned here before that President Obama needs to do what Eisenhower did with the interstate and what happened with Lincoln signing the 1862 Railway Act. I agree with that, but I don't agree with what he said after. He said that people will accept liberalism if it means Robert Moses. Anyone who says that does not understand the pain that Moses caused in New York. They don't understand the destruction that happened in cities around the country due to the interstate highways ripping up city neighborhoods whole sale.

In any event, that made me think of Robert Caro's speech at CNU Austin in 2008. For anyone that doesn't know what Moses did, watch, and you will now know why Robert Moses should never be repeated.

Thanks to Lawrence and Jon. Here is the Caro speech from CNU in Austin. It might make you cry, but it explains how damaging Robert Moses was to the City of New York and this Country.


Chris G said...

Thanks for the link/embed.

Glad to hear others are pay tv free, although if netflix ran out my wife would kill.

Brandon said...

I am, oddly enough, in favor of a modern Moses, if in the Master Transportation builder sense rather than the sense of someone who callously bulldozes whole neighborhoods in the name of building said transportation and for the dubious cause of "urban renewal". We could use someone with the cachet to win serious bucks from the Feds and the State (ill leave that open for who "we" are and what state we live in) to modernize our transportation system. This could even include a degree of urban renewal in the old sense, im afraid to say, as those parking lots that were built over apartment buildings in the name of renewal have to be turned into apartment buildings again.

Think of Moses (as I believe Matthews was) in terms of how effective he was at what he was trying to do, rather than in terms of what he actually did. If only he had built the Second System rather than all the expressways....

Woody said...

Ironic, isn't it, that when people yearn for "another Robert Moses" they may in fact be wishing rather for a different subject of Robert Caro's historical and biographical skills -- Lyndon B. Johnson, of course.

For almost 50 years now, L.B.J.'s record has been stained -- and obscured -- by his tragic involvement in the Viet Nam War. But with his domestic program, Johnson was a President who used the power of government to get things done for the lasting benefit of the American people.